Friday, January 28, 2005

Life in the next two weeks: can I do it?

According to my nephew, the proper response to that Q is "YES I CAN!" but I'm leaning more towards the little engine who could... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....
Expectations for choir are rising as the OUCF (Ontario University Choir Festival) and Choir tour are quickly approaching. This means time spent in the practice rooms both on my own and with other esteemed altos, trying to make heads or tails out of the Coronation Anthem by Handel. Tomorrow, we rehearse with the alumni choir, and although Dr T will not be around due to a worship symposium at Calvin, we will not be lacking a talented leader. I believe the whole of next weekend will be dedicated to the OUCF, where we will do workshops, present a selection of music on Sunday on our own, and then as a mass choir with Guelph, McMaster and Brock, we shall sing the Coronation Anthem. I think that it shall be an altogether fantastic weekend, however unproductive it shall be for my studies....
Then on Feb 12, we leave as a choir for our tour of the year. It is an unusually short tour this year, the shortest one that the choir has been on, I believe, but it can't be helped because Dr T has obligations elsewhere. As far as I know, we shall be traveling to Sarnia, Chatham (where I expect to see the whole of the Brouwer family ;) ) and Barrie, returning home on Tuesday evening. I can barely contain my excitement of my appointment of head of the garbage/lost and found committee.
Later on in the week I have an interview in Toronto with JET, a company that sends english teachers to Japan. It should be interesting, as I have to do some serious research on Japanese culture, politics, geography and language in addition to preparing a sample lesson plan.
So much to do, so little time. And yet here I sit at the computer. Funny, that.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Of snow, papers and other delights

This past fall, I heard some very depressing news. The forecast was a long, cold and dry winter. I shuddered to think of it, the minus twenty weather, the biting wind gusting down streets blowing dead leaves, brown grass and garbage from one driveway to the next, and the general feelings of animosity towards the season.
No longer do I have that picture in my head, I am happy to report! It has been a fantastic year for snow, in my opinion: I don't know if we've gone more than two days at a time throughout the past month without getting some amount of accumulation on the ground. It's deep enough on our front lawn that when I stepped in it, the snow went half way to my knee. I love it! It did occur to me this morning, however, that while I still love snow, I don't perhaps appreciate it as much as I used to. Don't get me wrong: I do appreciate it! But: on Sunday, I went tobogganing with Brian and some other folks in Sarnia. Barring the trip to "the big hill" with my nephew over the Christmas holidays, it was the first time I had been out tobogganing in several years. I made one snowman last year in England, but beyond that, I don't recall the last snowman I made. I haven't built a snowfort in many a winter season. Has snow been reduced to an aesthetic addition to my scenery? I still love going for walks when it's snowing, but somehow the subdivisions of Hamilton don't really beckon to me. And I did go "snowboarding" a week (or two?) ago. (I say "snowboarding" only because it was my first time being strapped to a board and I basically just learned about the heel edge and toe edge...) At any rate, I think that (after I get myself some mittens) I need to get out and experience snow more this winter.
On a completely different note, I was told from the first day in first year that my third year was going to be the most challenging year. I am disinclined to concur with that statement. I have laying before me two solid months of papers, seminars and midterms, and I'm sorry to say that I've already fallen behind. In saying that, I'm off to correct that: I have to write a movie review for one of the Lord of the Rings movies and have it handed in yesterday, so I had best get on that. Cheers!

Friday, January 21, 2005

I ran across this delightful comic whilst browsing Boy's brother's blog. Couldn't resist.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Pet Peeves

There was a point in my life where I was certain that I had no pet peeves. Or if I did, that surely I had only one or two. Wrong. I only have to actually pay attention to myself when I speak to find out otherwise. I've recently become aware how much I pay attention to song lyrics, and how much they often insanely bother me.
When I was given a copy of Damien Rice's "O" album last February, I sat down and listened to it right away. I couldn't make out a lot of the lyrics, however, so I opened a word document on my laptop and wrote out the lyrics as they were being sung. What a depressing CD! "...cause it's not hard to fall when you float like a cannon ball..." "...cause what I am to you is not what you is not real, what I am to you is not what you mean to me..." Pretty uplifting stuff. I continued to listen to it only because I knew there had to be something other than the lyrics in the song that had my friend listening to it, and after a few months, I genuinely liked the majority of the CD. However, I don't know if he's actually ever listened to the lyrics themselves.
Singing in the choir has had a pretty big impact on my attention to the lyrics of songs. "Don't sing the measures! Sing the phrases! SING THE TEXT!!" How many times have we heard that on a Tuesday afternoon? I got into the habit of taking the music home with me every now and then, and actually reading the English translation of the Latin texts that we sang, and due to that, songs like O Vos Omnes quickly became my favourite. The words add so much to the music for me when I realize what they mean. This fall, I learned (or tried very diligently, at the very least) the music and lyrics for Witness, the spiritual that the choir sang last spring. I love the sound of the song, but the lyrics really get me at one point:
Samson's wife, she talked so fair, Samson said, "cut off my hair! Shave my head just as clean as your hand, and my strength will become like a natural man." Samson was a witness for my Lord, Samson was a witness for my Lord...
Forgive the misquoting of the text, I never *quite* learned the whole thing, but that's the general idea. Why him? How was he being a witness by telling his wife the secret of his strength and therefore losing the strength? I don't get it. If I'm just not getting the deeper meaning and someone can explain it to me, that would be excellent. I'd love to know, because it really bothers me.
Perhaps I put too much emphasis on the lyrics of songs, and their meaning, and their contribution to the song as a whole. But in the same merit, perhaps other people don't pay enough attention to the lyrics of songs and what they're saying about the song.

On a side note, I can't believe that it's only been a month since we were in the middle of final exams. Craziness.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

A teller of tales

It was my role in high school to be theatrical. I don't mean that I was known for my dramatic over reactions (although anyone who had debated with me could tell you that I was prone to those as well), but I was in, and was expected to be in, every mainstage play at QCHS. Mainstage plays aren't so mainstage when there are only eighty-three or one hundred and three students in the school. At any rate, it was what I did, and I was comfortable doing it within that setting. I spent weekday afternoons from January to May learning lines, blocking scenes, doing improv skits and generally goofing off with the others in the plays. Performances were nerve-wracking, but always huge rushes to the system.
Here at Redeemer, I tried out for the mainstage in first year, "Twelfth Night," didn't make it in, and never tried out for another play again. I just returned home from my first theatre class here at RUC, "The Art of Storytelling" or something like that. It's proven to be three hours of laughs and good times thus far, and I'm very hopeful about the semester as a whole. However. There are several assignments that require us to stand up in front of the class and tell stories, starting at 2.5 min and gradually leading up to a 20 min performance at the end of the semester. This scares me. It's not a scary class, I recognize most people, and have some good friends in it. However, the fact is, (besides the play in England) I haven't done performing of any sort since the end of gr 12. And then it was easy, I knew the director really well, and knew all of the other actors. Best of all, I was in costume. I was presenting another persona that was accompanied by the wigs, the various costumes and different manners of speech. Story telling in front of the class involves me standing in front of 20 some Redeemer students, telling my story. It's a little exposing.
A question occurred to me as I was falling asleep the other night...

Vegetarians eat vegetables, right?


Humanitarians eat.....


Saturday, January 08, 2005

I just got some pics back from the Shack Christmas party, the van Breda Christmas and New years in Ottawa, if anyone's interested. Check it out here here.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Once more unto the breeches

Thus begins my eighth and final semester at Redeemer University College. I've heard people talk about what's commonly called "the senior itch" to finish school and graduate. I can't identify with that at the moment. I like my classes, I like my profs, I like my housemates and I like my house, I like my friends, I like my church, I like not working. The only thing that perhaps I do not like is Redeemer's Admin, but I've put up with that for three and a half years, so really, what's another four months. I don't want to leave here yet. I don't want to be in the real world. I'm enjoying the student life.
I spent the most of Monday and Tuesday with the Shack to myself, which was actually quite enjoyable. What with all of the activity at home, it was nice to have a bit of solitude. My roommate returned in the afternoon yesterday, and we had some quality hang out time. Two weeks is too long to go without my Kenny! The Tower usurped the Shack for a games night, so I went there and bruised my hands wonderfully whilst playing spoons, and upon return to the Shack, all of my lovely ladies were home! How grand it is to see everyone once again.
Here's to another semester at Redeemer.